BDN interviews Drummond about bee habitat publication

The Bangor Daily News interviewed Francis Drummond, a professor of insect ecology and insect pest management at the University of Maine, for an article about a new report he co-authored, “Bees and Their Habitats in Four New England States.” The report covers 401 bee species in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont — 275 of which are present in Maine — and ways to preserve their habitats and food sources, the BDN reports. Drummond worked with other scholars from UMaine, the University of Massachusetts and the University of Vermont to compile available literature and information on bees in northern New England to help inform people about threats bees face and ways to prevent population decline. “We wanted to write a document aimed at people working for natural resource or conservation agencies, municipalities, state agencies and anyone concerned with bee health,” said Drummond. “It was really fun to be involved and interact with so many people from all different perspectives — we had economists, horticulturists and agriculturists provide information on how to plant bee gardens and maintain them.” Suitable habitats for bees include open spaces and the edges of forests. Drummond told the BDN that northern New England is reverting back to more forestland, which is less ideal for bees. The best habitat has flowering plants that are free from pesticides, infrequently mowed and planted with multiple species to provide pollen and nectar throughout the growing season, according to the report. Allowing clover, small mint species and dandelions to grow on lawns also can help. “Even people with not a lot of land can help,” said Drummond. “These flowers are pretty, and the bees do really well with them.”